Rina Warship Banner (728 x 90 px)South Australian submarine workers walked off the job on Monday at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in a dispute over unequal pay. The workers maintain the Collins Class submarines, which were originally built at the shipyard. The yard will be in operation for another 20 years in support of the Royal Australian Navy.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ union SA Assistant State Secretary Stuart Gordon said: “South Australian workers are performing essential work and critically support the ASC workers in Western Australia. Why are these workers treated any less than those out West?”

ASC issued a statement Monday, saying “ASC acknowledges the protected industrial action taken by the AMWU, ETU and its members today and recognises their right to take this action. ASC has been in exhaustive negotiations with the Unions and their representatives over the last six months and has made a number of offers, taking into account the economic and environmental cost factors of the two locations. The unions and their members have rejected all of these offers. ASC has also suggested engaging the services of the Fair Work Commissioner to review employee claims and mandate an outcome, however the unions and their members have also rejected this.”

In response to the claims made by the unions, ASC said “like all national companies, there are instances where ASC’s South Australian workforce transfer knowledge to their Western Australian counterparts in all areas of our business, to support operational requirements. ASC has a workshop capability in Osborne, South Australia that supports all in-service submarines nationally and internationally, therefore providing parts to our Western Australia operations is a business as usual activity. ASC will continue to maintain good working relationships with both the Unions and our workers as we continue to negotiate in good faith.”

Stuart Whiley, Managing Director and CEO of ASC said: “Despite ASC’s best intentions, we have been unable to reach an agreement with the unions and their members in regard to their claims. We will continue to negotiate with the unions and our workers in good faith, to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome.”


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